Daily highlights, insights and gossip from
Robert Edwards, PSA technical director
and the "Voice of Squash" ...

Palmer & Power jet off
After losing to Nick Matthew yesterday David Palmer changed his flight and together with his girlfriend Melanie and John Power joined Tommy Berden and
Natalie Grinham on a flight to Amsterdam. At 6.30am he rang me to say that he was in Saudi Arabia with a plane that had technical problems.

Jonathon is trying to get to Montreal and David is heading for Antwerp ­ Both to receive treatment for their injuries. Another call followed at 5pm - to say that they were still at the Airport and hoped to leave soon!
Certainly all connecting flight will be missed and they will have to spend another frustrating night before completing their travel late tomorrow evening - injury and now this! I would not like to be the official
explaining the situation Jonathon and David.

In his post match interview Lee Beachill talked of his respect for Nick Matthew and said that he saw him as a potential top 5 player in the near future.

He said that reaching this final was his biggest achievement to date. Joking about the extra prize money he said that it would come in handy as his
girlfriend had just discovered that she was pregnant.'

.... How did that happen then ?

Qatar Quotes

"I gave him some cheap points at the start but was never in trouble. I felt comfortable throughout and hope to make the double.”
John White

"Peter was very slow in movements on court today. He seemed to be struggling while reading the flight of the ball. For me, this certainly is one of my more famous victories. I haven’t played this well in a long while."
Lee Beachill

"I didn't expect this result. No. I can play better than that. I struggled with my length and the range. Nothing went right today."
Peter Nicol

"I feel I am playing some decent squash right now. However, I would still like to add that I am lacking in a bit of match practice. I hope I can carry on with my form for the last two days of the tournament."
Carol Owens

"This is my best tournament ever. The first time I have beaten a top three player."
Nick Matthew

"It would be a fine thing if I win. I am deciding if I will be still on the circuit next year. I have this niggling back injury and there is of course life outside squash."
Carol Owens

Tue 2nd Dec
Matthew seeks fit opponent

Nick Matthew entered the quarter-final of the Qatar Classic after a 3/1 win against Olli Tuominen.
After being congratulated by the Tournament Office personnel he commented,

"Next time I could meet someone who is fit?"

His first round opponent Jonathon Power had retired injured and it was known that Olli was sporting an injury! I did not like to mention that David Palmer ­ his quarter-final opposition was seen sporting a elastic Bandage on his leg earlier when he beat Joe Kneipp."

Power Update
Jonathon Power has broken a bone in the little finger of his left hand (the Metacarpal Shaft).

I will speak to Jonathon tot find out if he will play the worlds [World Open], but it would not be recommended medically.

Jonathon is at hospital this morning and we are awaiting his return.



Qatar Quotes

‘This time I want to reach the final and lift the trophy. I haven’t done that yet, but now I badly want to do it. I think I am playing well enough to win here,’
Thierry Lincou

‘This morning it was 50-50 for me. I thought of pulling out of the match, but then timely treatment by the staff here helped me making the decision of playing on. I am not feeling so good, but I am not going to pull-out from the next match,’ Palmer said. ‘The rest I had yesterday also helped.’
David Palmer

"It was a close match. Shabana is a very attacking player and today he forced me into many mistakes. In fact, he came up with some solid winners. Although I have never lost to him on the PSA circuit in five or six occasions that we have met, but I think he has it in him to upset the top-10 players"
Peter Nicol

"Nicol is right! I am not mentally tough enough. That is the difference between me and him. He's mentally tough and that is what separates me from the world No.1. I play great but only in short bursts. I must overcome this shortcoming as soon as possible."
Amr Shabana

"I am glad I finally got some match practice. I was a little tentative, but as the match progressed, I became my normal self and played decent squash. Now I feel ready for the rest of my stay in Doha."
Carol Owens

Mon 1st Dec
Power crash in Doha
The last match of last night, completing the first half of the first round brought Jonathon Power and Nick Matthew into conflict. At one game all and Matthew leading 8-5 the players collided. Jonathon fell to the ground and injured his left hand. The Referee, Wendy Danzey ruled it a 'contributory Accidental injury'.

The rules allow the tournament to reschedule the match the next day because it is a split first round.

At 8am local time Jonathon was admitted to the local hospital and at 12noon will have an operation on the little finger of the left hand. He withdrew at approximately 11.00 am local time. Updates will follow post operation.

Here's how Nick Matthew broke the news to his National League team boss, Brian Hargrave:
Good news or bad news depending on which way you look at it but I won't be back for the match on 2 Dec because I beat power, or more accurately it was 1-1 & 8-5 to me in the 3rd & he tripped over my foot & landed dramatically has broken his finger! The match got delayed a day & we were supposed to finish tonight but now he has officially withdrawn so I'm through to the next round where I will play Olli Tuominen. Sorry for any inconvenience but obviously I am happy with getting through!

Qatar Quotes

"I came to know about her [Malik's] sickness this morning. I knew I would not be playing my match. In any case, I am now looking forward to my next match against Stephanie [Brind]"
Carol Owens

"I knew David loves to play long rallies and I tried to keep them short. Since David is a tall man, I made sure he was kept at the back of the court because he has fine reach. I wanted to settle into a good rhythm which I did."
Thierry Lincou

"I know it is not easy for a qualifier to play back-to-back matches within a short period of time. I have gone through a similar development so I know how tough it is to play a top-10 player. He must have been under quite some pressure while playing me."
John White

"I have played Rodney before so I knew his match tactics quite well. I played him a long while ago."
David Palmer

"I am glad that I have won my first match here. I had lost in the first round at the Canadian Classic and it is good to see that I have passed my first test here."
Peter Nicol

"I'm not sticking up two fingers at the selectors, but I've proved my point without a shadow of a doubt."
Mark Chaloner

"I went into him hard once and after that he was a bit wary of getting in the way."
Mark Chaloner

Sat 29th Nov
Another sad day for England
Another sad day for the Professional game. Stephen Meads retired after losing his match in the second round of the Qualification event.

He lost 3/0 to James Willstrop, a fellow countryman who is just starting on the first rungs of what will be a glittering career. Stephan has always been a hundred percent trier - a real fighter whose career has spanned more than 15 years on the PSA Tour.

Young Willstrop may not have learnt anything to improve his game from this encounter but I am sure that he will respect the dignified way in which Stephen has conducted himself over a wonderfully exciting span of years that covered the Golden Era of Jahangir to the Young Pretender Willstrop.

Stephen played thirteen time for England and was never defeated.'

Fri 28th Nov
End of the line for Tim & Meadsy

Today saw the end of the PSA career of Tim Garner. When he lost 3/2 to Shahid Zaman Tim bowed out from the Tour after 10 years.

As you would expect of a player who is a very close friend of Peter Nicol - Tim could well lay claim to the title of qualifications "Mr Nice Guy."

The rackets are now cooling down in his room and he is already planning an attack on the famous Doha Golf course. No more court sprints ­ a few beers - a lot of laughs and some serious sun bathing!

Stephen Meads, British Champion in 1995, has announced that this is to be his last tournament on the PSA Tour. Asked if he would change his mind if he won the championship, he answered "no - I am going regardless."

Both players have been fine adverts for the game. We will miss them on the Tour.

The match of the day in this 1st round of qualification had to be Tommy Berden's win over Stacey Ross - 3/2, 15-14 in the 5th. The match lasted 118 minutes - wow!!


sorry to see you go, Meadsy ...


it's goodbye from Tim ...

... and Meadsy too

Voice from 2002   Voice from 2001